“Customer obsession” - you will most definitely come across these words when you interact with anyone from a new age consumer brand. In simple terms, every brand aims to keep the customer at the centre of everything they do. This also makes perfect sense. You become a customer's primary choice of product or service only if you match their expectations. And if you want the customer to keep coming back, customer obsession becomes even more important. This makes ‘providing a stellar customer experience (CE)’ a key goal for most companies. So, for a health product like cure.fit where habit formation is at the core of our product and where we expect customers to keep coming back, providing a CE that is designed very thoughtfully and at the same time delivered consistently becomes very critical.To ensure that the customer is indeed at the centre of every decision, "Blow away customer expectations" is one of the core organisational values and an inherent part of the DNA at Cure.fit. But, how do we put this to practise? While designing any product, service or experience, we fall back to one single, fundamental question:
What is the customer expecting from us?
This question needs to be asked for any engagement or interaction our customer has with us - a push notification, a new feature, a clause of the T&C, a new product, location of a centre or even how a janitor interacts with them. Over time, we have been able to break these expectations down into 6 distinct buckets which we call the customer expectation framework.
- Delivery of promise - Did I get what I was promised?
This is why a customer came to you in the first place. There was a promise, and the customer expects you to fulfil it each time, every time. You fail to deliver your promise, you fail the customer. It is thus extremely important to be clear & precise in what you promise & how you promise it. It’s equally important to ensure that you've designed your product to deliver on the promise consistently, with the same quality every single time.
- Make it simple - Can I get what I want in the simplest, most efficient way possible?
You have to make your product or service easy to use or access so the customer can get the desired benefits quickly with the least possible effort. Remember, a user does not owe you any effort. Any extra effort required to use the product becomes a deterrent in creating a repeat purchase. This poses a big risk on customer retention especially for products like ours where the promise is delivered over a longer period of time and which depends on repeated customer interactions.
- Keep it defect free - Do I get exactly what i was promised and without any faults?
A customer does not come to experience a defect. All defects, even if covered up beautifully, result in long term loss for your brand. They make your customer rethink, re-evaluate their options. They give them a reason to try out your competitor (or worse leave the journey itself).
It does not mean that defect-free is the only way to go. It’s humanly impossible to be defect-free and you will at some point disappoint at least some of your customers. But, at the end of the day, your customers are humans and are reasonable and forgiving if you make up for defects the right way. They are willing to understand, adjust and continue to put their faith in you if you're honest and proactive about any mistakes you make. In fact, customers highly appreciate if you preempt unhappy experiences, communicate honestly and sincerely and provide reasonable, acceptable alternatives.
- Ensure trust & safety - Can I trust them with my life and safety?
These are the inherent pillars of a brand. You are because they are. They trust you with their personal data, their lives. You owe it to all your customers to provide them with physical, emotional safety and to safeguard their) personal data & interests. Ensuring this requires the organisation to make some tough choices and takes significant effort. Worst of all, your investment in these areas doesn’t even show until the eventual day of misfortune where something goes wrong and it may potentially impact your customer or their families. Investing in setting the right trust & safety processes is the hidden cost of creating a brand that is trusted for 'doing the right thing'.
- Effortless support - Will they be there for me when I need them most and actually solve my problem?
Even the most well-intentioned and well-planned flows can go wrong; they will in fact on many occasions. Seek support - is a common reaction of a human being in case of an unexpected outcome. Ensure you're right there for them, that you’re easily accessible and available, are prompt in responding & empathetic in your conversation. Don’t just be available to merely acknowledge their problems, actually do something to solve it. For you, it may one of the hundred other complaints you receive, but for the customer, that problem is the one. And how you deal with it defines the future of their relationship with you.
In reality, many customers do not even put the effort to raise a complaint as they don’t expect highly of your customer obsession. It's only those customers who trust you to do something about the issue will reach out to you. So you owe them a thorough, genuine solution. In doing so, not only do you win this customer's trust but you can also save many other customers from facing a similar experience in the future.
- Do the unexpected - Wow! They took me by (a pleasant) surprise.
Matching customer expectations is a great way to ensure you continue to be the primary choice of product for your customer. But, is that enough? Going beyond their stated expectations is how you truly win their loyalty. Having this level of customer obsession running in your organization's DNA and delivering such wow experiences consistently requires dedicated, conscious and continuous effort. It proves your customer obsession and their trust in your brand only becomes stronger.
This then begs the question - is customer experience really only one department’s or one team’s job? In all honesty, it is not a department but a way of thinking. Like any other cultural trait, it needs articulation, rituals and celebrations. It needs to be driven top-down. Our leaders look at quality and customer experience metrics as a north star which ensures that customer obsession is ingrained in our DNA. This is our mantra and we are committed to continuing blowing away expectations of millions of customers around the world.--Credits - Pritesh Jain, Esha Savla